United for Libraries 2021 Virtual Conference

Advocacy through Storytelling

August 23, 2021

Sessions underscored that stories—of individuals, of libraries, of communities—are at the core of library advocacy. “It’s really all about storytelling,” observed Beth Nawalinski, executive director of United for Libraries, during the conference. Representation in collections At “Auditing Diversity in Library Collections,” Sarah Voels, community engagement librarian at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library (CRPL), described the … Continue reading Advocacy through Storytelling


Hands holding small red heart with banner -- text reads The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund

ALA Distributes COVID-19 Emergency Relief

June 25, 2021

Through the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund, grantees representing academic, public, school, and tribal libraries will receive grants between $30,000 and $50,000 to support library services and operations. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents a significant nonfederal grant opportunity for libraries. The funds support libraries’ efforts to increase and enhance technology access, collection development, … Continue reading ALA Distributes COVID-19 Emergency Relief



Emergency Broadband Benefit (text curved in the shape of a Wi-Fi signal)

FCC Opens Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

May 11, 2021

Program and application essentials, including eligibility, are outlined in a new FCC-American Library Association (ALA) fact sheet for libraries. A household is eligible if one of its members meets any of the following criteria: Has an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as the Supplemental … Continue reading FCC Opens Emergency Broadband Benefit Program


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

A Hurting Thing

May 3, 2021

Usually the calls were about the kids who frequented the library—which ones had graduated, who was off to college or the military, and sometimes, sadly, who had been shot or killed, or gone to jail. One call still haunts me: A teenage boy I knew well was facing serious time in a juvenile detention center. … Continue reading A Hurting Thing


ALA logo

ALA Announces COVID Library Relief Fund

April 9, 2021

These funds are intended to bolster library operations and services, including technology access, collections, digital instruction, staffing, and outreach. Funds can be used to maintain and amplify existing service strategies or add new ones. “Libraries have demonstrated extraordinary innovation over the past year in creating new materials, programs, and service delivery models, but they are … Continue reading ALA Announces COVID Library Relief Fund


ALA COVID-19 Library Relief Updade

What the American Rescue Plan Act Means for Libraries

March 12, 2021

Of the $200 million for IMLS, $178 million is allocated for the Library Services and Technology Act and will go to state library administrative agencies on a population-based formula. IMLS announced state allotments for ARPA funding in a March 11 press release. Because there is a $2 million state minimum, every state will receive a … Continue reading What the American Rescue Plan Act Means for Libraries


The Future of Fundraising

The Future of Fundraising

January 24, 2021

“This [past] year I personally took charge of looking at our donors and thinking, ‘How can we fundraise during this difficult time?’” said Lauren Trujillo, director of the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Public Library Foundation (SBPLF). Trujillo, along with Andrea Lapsley, president of Texas Library and Archives Foundation (TxLAF) in Austin, moderated “The Future of Library … Continue reading The Future of Fundraising


2020 Year in Review

January 4, 2021

ALA Headquarters Move After 57 years on East Huron Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, ALA headquarters relocated to Michigan Plaza at 225 N. Michigan Avenue.   ALA Welcomes New Executive Director Tracie D. Hall began on February 24 as the American Library Association’s (ALA) new executive director (ED). The 10th ED—and the first female … Continue reading 2020 Year in Review


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

A New Year of Hope

January 4, 2021

Similarly, 2020 made an indelible impression on the history of our country, and it has left us collectively exhausted. Many will remember it as the year we were locked down, Zoomed out, and either lonely or wanting to be alone. We lost loved ones, icons, and champions. We were confronted with furloughs and loss of … Continue reading A New Year of Hope


Images from Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s 2021 Wild and Weird fundraiser calendar, featuring library workers and adoptable cats

Raising Money for a Good Claws

December 30, 2020

Created as a fundraiser with the help of local animal adoption agencies, Morgantown (W.Va.) Public Library System’s (MPLS) limited-edition 2021 calendar features librarians posing with adoptable cats. Thus was born our 2021 Wild and Weird calendar. Each month features library workers from MPLS—all fully clothed, of course!—alongside an adoptable cat, including Cadillac Frank (a gray … Continue reading Raising Money for a Good Claws


A Transition Plan for Library Advocates

November 13, 2020

Based on campaign pledges, the Biden-Harris administration will be more favorable to education investment and the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. President-Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet selections will likely indicate a significant shift in policy around education, telecommunications, workforce issues, and many other areas. However, the change of leadership in the White House does not … Continue reading A Transition Plan for Library Advocates